States set Columbia River spring salmon, Washington and Oregon smelt seasons | OregonLive.com
on January 28, 2015 at 5:48 PM, updated January 28, 2015 at 5:53 PM
Recreational spring chinook salmon and limited smelt-dipping seasons were set Wednesday by Oregon and Washington fish managers meeting in Vancouver as the Columbia River Compact.
Chinook salmon fishing is open now on the lower Columbia River up to Interstate 5 and the Willamette River.
From March 1 to April 10, anglers will be allowed to keep one fin-clipped spring salmon per day from the river’s mouth to Bonneville Dam. Above the dam, sportfishing will be allowed March 16 through May 6, also for a single fin-clipped salmon.
Willamette River anglers will have no restrictions this spring beyond their daily limit of two fin-clipped chinook.
Smelt-dipping will be allowed in the Cowlitz River from 6 a.m. to noon, Feb. 7 and 14 and in the Sandy River for the same hours March 7 and 15, assuming the run materializes there. Smelt are already in the Cowlitz River.
Spring chinook fishing will close on the lower Columbia March 24 and 31 and April 7 (Tuesdays) to allow for potential commercial fisheries.
Fish managers will review both commercial catches and test fisheries in March before opening commercial seasons.
In past years, additional spring chinook fishing has occurred after run updates began in early May, when salmon typically surge upriver over Bonneville Dam and biologists have a better idea of the run’s strength.
— Bill Monroe